Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard will come with a lot more office space in Los Angeles and Orange County for the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant.
Activision Blizzard, which develops and publishes games from “Candy Crush” to “Call of Duty,” is currently headquartered in Los Angeles. The parent firm and its subsidiaries – including Activision Publishing and Blizzard Entertainment – occupy 750,000 square feet of space across Santa Monica, Woodland Hills, Playa Vista and Irvine in Orange County, according to CBRE.
Activision Blizzard was previously headquartered at a Boston Properties-owned complex at 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica, but chose not to renew its lease for 214,000 square feet last year. In September, Activision Publishing subleased around 90,000 square feet at LPC West’s Pen Factory complex at 2701 Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica after laying off a number of employees.
The deal and the expanded office footprint in Southern California gives Microsoft a sizable stake in the region’s gaming industry. The tech giant is no stranger– its portfolio includes the Xbox gaming console and brand, which is headquartered at Microsoft’s main campus just outside of Seattle.
Microsoft currently has one office in Los Angeles, and another in Irvine. In 2013, the firm moved into around 25,000 square feet of space at 13031 West Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Vista. That site currently serves as a sales office and is located in the same building as rival video game developer PlayStation’s Santa Monica Studio.
In Irvine, Microsoft leases an disclosed amount of space at 3 Park Plaza, part of a 1.6 million-square-foot office complex owned by Irvine Company.
It’s unclear whether Microsoft will move some of its own employees into Activision Blizzard’s space, or expand or reduce the firm’s office footprint and consolidate its operation at Xbox’s headquarters, once the deal closes next year. Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.
Los Angeles is home to a number of video game companies besides Activision Blizzard, a lineup that included Riot Games and Sony Interactive Gaming. It’s also becoming a growing hub for e-sports teams, which compete in online games.
Microsoft’s acquisition, announced Tuesday morning, comes as Activision Blizzard faces internal, state and federal investigations into allegations of sexual harrassment and a toxic workplace culture. The firm has fired or pushed out more than 35 employees and has disciplined about 40 others since July, in an effort to address these allegations, according to the Wall Street Journal.